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Review: Artline EK 200 Fineliner

Sometimes you want a pen that does more than just write really well – you want one that’s fun to experiment and play with.

That may be the best way to describe the Artline 200 Fineliner range. These are not the kind of pens that are essential for every serious writer to have, the way maybe a good Parker is. But they’re a pleasant alternative to pull out and lighten up with once in a while.

The Fineliners use a tough resin point that is supposed to help maintain sharpness and reduce general wear over time. That’s good and bad. The 0.4 mm point is gentle on paper, but does not have that smooth glide you get from a rollerball. And it squeaks, which can get annoying. But, it writes cleanly, with occasional blotting at pause points, and does not bleed through.

As is typical of Artlines, the design of the pen gives no concession to comfort or aesthetics. The Fineliner has a simple round barrel, only some ridging in the plastic for a grip, and a cap that fits snugly when snapped into place, but does not post well, if at all.

One useful note about the design is that it has an extended metal collar that helps protect the tip if you tend to be heavy handed when writing.

What’s nice about these pens is the range of colours available in the Fineliner set – black, green, brown, red, orange, blue, etc. – and the fact that you can use them to write on just about anything because of the tip. When you get bored with serious writing, you can pull out your Fineliners for a little doodling.

These are pens that you can use as workhorses around your home or office, but they’re probably just the sort you’d buy on a whim and use occasionally to break up your routine.

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